Mosquito pupae, commonly called "tumblers," must live in water from 1 to 4 days, depending upon species and temperature.
The pupa is lighter than water and therefore floats at the surface. It takes oxygen through two breathing tubes called "trumpets." When it is disturbed it dives in a jerking, tumbling motion and then floats back to the surface. The pupa does not eat.
The metamorphosis of the mosquito into an adult is completed within the pupal case.
The adult mosquito splits the pupal case and emerges to the surface of the water where it rests until its body can dry and harden.